Changing Your Eating Habits One Day At A Time
by Debbie Crane
Iím not sure when it happened exactly. It could have been the day I went in for my annual checkup and was told that my Body Mass Index (BMI) was approaching 25, which is the point that I would ďofficiallyĒ be considered overweight. Or, it could have been the next weekend, when I bent over and split my favorite pair of blue jeans Ė blue jeans that were three sizes larger than what I had worn in my late twenties.
At any rate, I decided I needed to take action. I already knew that my diet wasnít particularly healthy; when you eat potatoes three times a day and the only green matter on your plate is a sprig of parsley for show, thatís a pretty good sign.
So, two and a half years ago, I decided it was time for a change. There was a level of vanity involved; I wanted to look good in my clothes. But, honestly, I was more concerned about my health. I didnít feel good; my energy was down and my old perkiness was waning.
I cut out fried foods. Those three-time-a-day potatoes were a thing of the past. I concentrated on injecting as many fruits and vegetables and as much fiber as possible into my diet. Gradually, my clothes got looser. It wasnít fast; I didnít do one of those miracle diets that have you stuffing yourself with bacon and butter with nothing to spread the butter on or put the bacon between. Instead, I focused on eating the right stuff. If I was going to eat bread, then it would be whole grain. If I was going to eat beef, then it was going to be low fat. And, I started reading the labels on food Ė partially hydrogenated vegetable oil became my arch enemy.
After a year, I had lost 25 pounds. And, Iíve kept it off. I feel better. I wear several sizes smaller, which gave me a great excuse for buying new clothes (okay, I know I have a shallow side, but what the heck).
The point is that small changes can make a difference. Thatís particularly important during the holidays. I never met a casserole that I didnít like. And, when it came to pecan piesóthe bigger the slice the better. Iíve learned that a small piece of pecan pie is a real treat when you donít normally eat any. And, those casseroles? Well, when you quit eating lots of fat, and you sample your old ways, you find out that fat just doesnít taste as good as it used to.
And, instead of, spending the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays holed up on the couch in front of the TV, Iím going to be out with my dogs playing fetch.
And, I am taking the Eat Smart, Move More Ė Maintain, Donít Gain Challenge. Thatís going to be my added insurance against the big holiday weight gain. I canít tell you how many times, I ate myself bleary and weary through the holiday season Ė saying ďOh, Iíll lose those pounds in January.Ē They didnít come off, and instead I wound up with a questionable BMI and split blue jeans.
Last Modified: November 20, 2006